Day 9: The Impact

Looking back over the past 3 months, words fail to express all that’s happened, but I hope you’ve enjoyed a glimpse of it all. It’s nothing of us, everything of the power of hope. I’ve come to realize, though, that this program hasn’t just impacted the lives of 11 women. Sure that’s an incredible part of it, even if it were to stop there. Even if we made a difference in the life of one woman, that would be enough. But with the common theme, let’s shatter even that expectation. The ripple effects of this program are immeasurable, but allow me to share with you just a few ways American donors and supporters have brought hope to 11 women, and to so many others. These 11 women have experienced great benefits through being the first participants in our organization. Even greater, they are of great benefit to their families, their community, and to the nation of Zambia. Here are just a few numbers to show how the impact of 11 creates so much more than that. Eleven women empowered and educated through Clothed in Hope’s skills-training and income-generating program have made a way for:

19 of their children to enroll in private or higher education for a stronger educational foundation

35 children (from all 11 women) to enjoy hope of a brighter future through the strengthening of their family and work ethic from their mothers

172 people (from all 11 households) to receive regular, more substantial meals to fight malnutrition and resulting stunting, food-borne, and water-borne illnesses

12 women in the remote village of Muchochoma to learn the skill of sewing and business management for the benefit of their entire village

19 at-risk boys from Kakabalika Child Foundation to learn and practice the skill of hand-sewing, empowering them to take pride in their work and bright possibilities for their futures

6 women to begin a savings fund to practice financial responsibility through long-term thinking

And for 2 of our CiH women, they’ve already taken the business skills and income earned from Chikondi bracelets to begin their own small businesses.

Carol, a mother of 3, is an incredible seamstress and picked up the skill right away. She’s bright, motivated and empowered. She’s started her own business selling bed sheets that she’s sewn herself from the skills and capital gained throughout the CiH in-country launch. She’s proud of her business and looks forward to future growth.

Margret, 25-year-old widow and mother of a 3-year-old, seems to have every excuse for a poor outlook on life, left alone to raise her daughter even through the oppression she faces daily. When asked what she was thankful for, Margret replied, “for giving me hope to go on with my life.” Not speaking a word before, Margret now brings such joy to our group and is a great friend to all. Soaking up every lesson from our training program, Margret has used her bracelet income to gather materials and build a small grocery stand near her house. She estimates the grocery to be open at the end of October 2012. She’s not only investing in her future through business, but also in the life of her 3-year-old girl, Rabbecca.